The winter months are in full swing, and it’s even more important now than ever to wear proper fitting shoes. If you wear boots that are too narrow, or too tight, you put yourself at a greater risk of developing such foot conditions as bunions, hammertoe, or ingrown toenails. Before purchasing a pair of new winter weather shoes make sure they fit you properly. You will save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run.

Footwear is everything. It protects your feet and offers comfort and support. When you make the mistake of wearing shoes that are too tight, you are wasting that precious protection and your feet may suffer for it. Shoes that are too narrow or tight may force your toes to bunch together. This can lead to a number of problems.

Bunions can be a result of wearing ill-fitting boots. A bunion is a bony protrusion on the big toe that causes the toe to then turn inward. Another problem is hammertoe. This is when a small toes is forced to bend, instead of lie flat. Ingrown toenails can also occur when the toes rub together because of the excessive pressure from tight footwear. These conditions are more critical for people with diabetes because they may not even feel pain due to neuropathy.

It’s important to get professionally fitted every time you purchase a new pair of shoes. Get both feet measured, length and width. It’s always a good idea to get your feet measured in the evening because your feet swell during the day and they will be at their largest. Wear the socks you will be wearing with your shoes when you get fitted. It can be quite helpful to select shoes with removable insoles because they will allow you to insert an orthotic, if necessary. Most importantly, if a shoe doesn’t feel comfortable right away it’s time to move on. There should be no “breaking in” period.

Knowing which shoes to choose can be daunting, but Dr. Mitchell Wachtel can help. Call (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment today in one of our Massachusetts locations.